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Rachel Norton, Ph.D. 

Research Associate


Ph.D. in Health & Behavioral Sciences

Rachel Norton has extensive experience supporting and leading post-event reviews and resilience building initiatives and studies. As an applied qualitative researcher focused on hazards, resilience, and vulnerability, Dr. Norton has worked on numerous post-event reviews of hazard events analyzing successes and gaps in disaster risk management, in the response, and in the recovery as well as identifying opportunities for interventions. She has supported and led post-event reviews of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in southern Africa (2019); the California Wildfires (2017 & 2018); the flooding from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina (2018); and the Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston (2017). Dr. Norton’s work draws on her strong background in qualitative methods and stakeholder engagement. She employs desk reviews, semi-structured interviews and focus groups to support a holistic analysis of hazard events. She solicits the perspectives of a broad array of stakeholders – the community, private industry, nongovernmental organizations and governments – to inform her work. Another important aspect of her work is ensuring that the results are effectively translated into deliverables that meet the needs of a wide variety of stakeholders. She has worked and/or conducted research in the United States, the Dominican Republic and Mozambique. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography/Spanish from Middlebury College, a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado - Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Health & Behavioral Sciences from the University of Colorado - Denver. Her graduate research focused on resilience and capacity building amongst vulnerable populations in the Rocky Mountain West.

Profile Summary

  • Sustainability

  • Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Leadership Development

  • Resilience

  • Qualitative methods 


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